Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, photographer, videographer, clean eating expert, and mommy of four. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration.
Even more important than shopping for healthy foods: actually eating them. When you get home from the store or farmer's market, bounty of fruits and veggies in tow, wash and chop them right away and store in a pretty glass container in your fridge. "Studies show that spending more time on food prep is linked to better eating habits," says Dr. Lipman. It's all about convenience—if they're ready for you, you'll grab them in a pinch. If not? It's chips and dip time. You can also do this with other foods, like making a batch of quinoa for the week or roasting a bunch of veggies to throw together for quick lunches.
Juicing should not be used as a quick way to lose weight. Consuming only fruits and vegetables, even though they are nutritious, is not considered a balanced diet. A healthy weight loss goal is ½ to 2 pounds per week, and can be achieved with healthy eating and activity habits. Talk with your doctor about safe and effective ways to control your weight. You can also visit the Weight and Obesity page of the FNIC website for more information and resources.
We're finding that way too many people are replacing multiple meals with just 1 glass of juice, and "feeling light-headed for some reason". Being healthy and losing weight doesn't mean eating less, it means eating right. Anyone can lose weight by starving themselves. Don't do this, no one said to do this. Alright, maybe some fad diets say to do this, but they're terrible and that's why they're fad diets.
Juicing typically requires using a machine or equipment in order to turn raw fruits and vegetables into a liquid. Home juicing machines may cost anywhere from $30 dollars to more than $300 dollars. By using special blades, most juicers chop up your fruits or vegetables into tiny pieces and spins them in a way to separate the juice from the pulp, which eliminates the majority of the fiber. You can ask around at local stores or consult Consumer Reports to find the juicer that’s best for you.
This depends on many factors including your lifestyle, dietary preferences, health conditions, etc. The DGA recommends that the majority of fruit intake come from whole fruits, including canned, frozen and dried forms. Juicing can be one way to increase your nutrient intake, and incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables that you may not normally eat, such as kale or spinach, however you should not rely on juice as your sole source of fruit or vegetable intake. To improve taste, some juicing recipes may include added sugars, such as sugar, honey, turbinado, raw sugar, maple syrup or molasses. Most Americans need to reduce their intake of added sugars. Choose juicing recipes that don’t include these ingredients or use non-caloric sweeteners instead.
Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Vegetables ― try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven’t tried like rosemary. You can sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish — just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.
Turmeric: The orange Asian herb turmeric has been traditionally used for centuries by Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.  Curcumin is the most powerful active anti-inflammatory compound within turmeric.  Curcumin has been shown to detoxify the liver, boost glutathione levels and be a powerful suppressor of chronic inflammatory mediated disease processes (18).
Preparing home-cooked, plant-based meals is simpler than most people realize. A simple recipe formula features legumes (such as lentils or beans) combined with cooked whole grains (such as bulgur wheat or brown rice) and raw or cooked vegetables, served hot, warm, or cold. To save time, people can prepare large amounts of dried beans and whole grains. Flavor enhancers include olive oil, lemon juice, and dried or fresh fruits, as well as spices and fresh herbs. (Locked) More »
To prep the kale for the salad, we’re going to add it to a large bowl with a little olive oil and rub all over the kale, massaging it until the kale reduces in volume and becomes less stiff. (This makes a huge difference in the texture of the kale and makes it much easier to eat. I like to buy pre-cut kale when I meal prep because it’s just easier and takes one less step out of the process.)

"Resolving to never eat a sweet again takes a lot of effort and can create a feeling of deprivation," Patricia Bannan, M.S., R.D.N., author of Eat Right When The Time Is Right, tells SELF. "A more realistic resolution would be to create an environment in which you can consume fewer sweets without having to rely solely on your willpower." If all you have to do is walk to your pantry, you'll grab a bag and attack it. But let's say you must put on your shoes, find your keys and drive to the store. Laziness will triumph. (Yes, sometimes sloth is a good thing!)

Brain iron deficiency should be one of the first considerations when looking for a cause of restless legs syndrome (RLS). However, many doctors don’t know that iron deficiency is one cause of RLS, and therefore don’t test for it, particularly in men, in whom iron deficiency is uncommon. Diagnosing low brain iron is tricky, because doctors have to infer it from blood levels. Several tests are used to measure iron in the blood. The most important for diagnosing iron deficiency measures ferritin, the primary form of stored iron in the blood. (Locked) More »

Much like planning out your meals, doing meal prep saves you a lot of time—which is super helpful when the going gets busy as hell. When it comes to meal prepping, there are a few things you'll need to get yourself started: The right storage containers (AKA a sturdy set of BPA-free Tupperware), a well stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer, and a couple hours to spare on Sunday night.
Fat. Not all fat is the same. While bad fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, good fats protect your brain and heart. In fact, healthy fats—such as omega-3s—are vital to your physical and emotional health. Including more healthy fat in your diet can help improve your mood, boost your well-being, and even trim your waistline. Learn more »

Brain iron deficiency should be one of the first considerations when looking for a cause of restless legs syndrome (RLS). However, many doctors don’t know that iron deficiency is one cause of RLS, and therefore don’t test for it, particularly in men, in whom iron deficiency is uncommon. Diagnosing low brain iron is tricky, because doctors have to infer it from blood levels. Several tests are used to measure iron in the blood. The most important for diagnosing iron deficiency measures ferritin, the primary form of stored iron in the blood. (Locked) More »
When I delved into his juicing website, I realized that he wasn’t shoving fruit-willy-nilly into his juice, throwing thirty bananas in a blender or forcing his blood chemistries out of whack with fiber-less, protein-stripped sugar water. Instead, this guy has actually cracked the code on how to juice the right way – especially for athletes and exercise enthusiasts.
Excess sodium, found in many processed foods and restaurant meals, raises blood pressure in some people and can have other adverse effects. The Dietary Guidelines recommend a limit of 2,300 milligrams a day for the general population; people with hypertension or prehypertension can benefit from a further reduction to 1,500 milligrams per day. As you cut back on sodium, eat more potassium-rich foods, which help lower blood pressure. These include citrus fruits, bananas, beans, avocados, some fish, and dairy products.
Some meal prep recipes will freeze better than others. Proteins like chicken, turkey and beef will hold up well to freezing. Typically starches like pasta do not hold up well in the freezer as they’ll be mushy when thawed. Rice and potatoes are great candidates for the freezer. Many vegetables can be frozen, but veggies with a high water content, such as zucchini and lettuce, do not freeze well.
Not all packaged or pre-made food is bad for you, but you’ll need to read nutrition labels carefully in order to choose wisely. Ideally, you should gravitate toward healthy options that make nutritious cooking easier, like frozen vegetables and canned beans, and skip the meals in a box that are loaded with preservatives, hidden sources of fat, and too much sugar and sodium.
Next, let’s get our lentils started. Add the dry lentils to a pot, followed by water. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring this to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the lentils are tender. For whole lentils, it should take about 15-20 minutes. Then, drain the lentils and set aside for later.
Juicing typically requires using a machine or equipment in order to turn raw fruits and vegetables into a liquid. Home juicing machines may cost anywhere from $30 dollars to more than $300 dollars. By using special blades, most juicers chop up your fruits or vegetables into tiny pieces and spins them in a way to separate the juice from the pulp, which eliminates the majority of the fiber. You can ask around at local stores or consult Consumer Reports to find the juicer that’s best for you.
To see how well the principles embodied in the Healthy Eating Pyramid stacked up against the government’s advice, Harvard School of Public Health researchers created an Alternate Healthy Eating Index with a scoring system similar to the USDA’s index. They then compared the two indexes, using information about daily diets collected from more than 100,000 female nurses and male health professionals taking part in two long-term studies.
For many people, food is a chore, a challenge, even a source of dread, as they try to overcome poor eating habits. But eating should be a joy and a centerpiece of family life. Many cultures around the world emphasize the enjoyment of food, which includes cooking and eating with others, as an integral component of good health. The latest Dietary Guidelines say that eating healthfully involves “enjoying food and celebrating cultural and personal traditions through food.” According to some research, shared mealtimes, especially during childhood, may help protect against nutrition-related health problems as well as increase prosocial behavior in adulthood.
When the tongue recognizes the bitter flavor it sets off a set of reactions in the neuroendocrine system that is labeled the “bitter reflex.” This process is mediated by the hormone within the stomach called gastrin which stimulates the flow of hydrochloric acid. This reflex then goes down and helps with liver and gallbladder secretions of bile and pancreatic enzyme secretions.  Experts believe that the bitter reflex helps to improve the structure and function of all the digestive organs.
Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that may benefit human health. For example, carotenoids found in red, orange, yellow, and green plants (cooked tomatoes, carrots, squash, and broccoli) may inhibit cancer growth and cardiovascular disease, and boost the immune system. Flavonoids found in berries, apples, citrus, onions, soybeans, and coffee may fight inflammation and tumor growth. One can get a wide variety of phytochemicals by simply eating a varied diet that includes five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. (Locked) More »
Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
In comparison, scores on the Alternate Healthy Eating Index created at the Harvard School of Public Health did appear to correlate more closely with better health in both sexes. Men with high scores (those whose diets most closely followed the Healthy Eating Pyramid guidelines) were 20 percent less likely to have developed a major chronic disease than those with low scores. Women with high scores lowered their overall risk by 11 percent. Men whose diets most closely followed the Healthy Eating Pyramid lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease by almost 40 percent; women with high scores lowered their risk by almost 30 percent.

Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Vegetables ― try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven’t tried like rosemary. You can sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish — just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.

Some meal prep recipes will freeze better than others. Proteins like chicken, turkey and beef will hold up well to freezing. Typically starches like pasta do not hold up well in the freezer as they’ll be mushy when thawed. Rice and potatoes are great candidates for the freezer. Many vegetables can be frozen, but veggies with a high water content, such as zucchini and lettuce, do not freeze well. 
×